Frijoles Revolteados

By La Salsa Ingelsa

The United Nations’ General Assembly declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses (dried beans and seeds such as chick peas and lentils). Here at Xelawho, we believe Guatemala has one of the best: frijoles negros. Black beans are a staple food eaten throughout Guatemala. They are a great source of protein and very versatile to cook with. Black beans are most commonly served refried.  Refried beans are typically served at breakfast and dinnertime; often as an accompaniment to huevos con tortilla. For a snack, spread them on toasted tortillas with cheese or as a dip for nachos. Also, look out for next month’s homemade nacho chip recipe. Indeed, learning the art of refried beans is an essential part of your Guatemalan culinary experience.

This recipe uses canned beans which makes it quick to make and should be hard to get wrong! Además, cooking your own frijoles revolteados means you can control the amount of oil and salt you add making it a healthier option. Persuaded? Let’s get cooking!

Makes approximately 1½ cups of fried beans.

Ready in 15- 20 minutes


  • 1 can black beans (approx. 2 cups of cooked beans)
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • ½ jalapeno chili, de-seeded and finely diced
  • Salt to taste


Start by heating a large frying pan over a medium flame, add the oil then fry the onion for 2-3 minutes to soften before adding the garlic and jalapeno, sauté for another minute or two. Careful not to burn the garlic

While the onion is frying, drain the can of beans but save the liquid. In a bowl, mash the beans with a fork adding a sprinkle of salt

Add the mashed beans to the frying pan with half a cup of the liquid from the beans, mix together with the sautéed onion and garlic

Take a potato masher or a fork and continue to crush the beans in the pan while cooking. They don’t have to be perfectly smooth, just mashed to your preference. Alternatively, if you like them completely smooth whizz them up in a blender

Continue to fry the bean mixture over a low heat for another 10 minutes so it thickens into a firm paste, stirring occasionally

Check for seasoning – remember the beans often come with added salt so test them before you add more. Serve warm.

My Latin American food blog can be found at

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